The Atlantic has a lengthy, must-read profile on Mike Pence, the boil-in-bag politician who has found his greatest career calling as the soothingly banal evil to Donald Trump’s more unhinged variety, like the warm milk chaser to eating broken glass. Titled “God’s Plan For Mike Pence,” it pivots around a familiar question: How could this butter sculpture of Ronald Reagan—a lukewarm bowl of oatmeal topped with crumbled communion wafers, a man who lives his life devoutly afraid of being condemned to a hell where he’s forced to dine on his own entrails across from women who aren’t Mother, forever—possibly reconcile that Christian, cornfed decency with his loyal, unflappable support of a twice-divorced, adulterous, pussy-grabbing New Yorker?
Naturally, it reaches a familiar conclusion. As White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short fairly sums it up, “Mike believes strongly in the sovereignty of God, and knowing that the Lord has a plan for him.” And God’s plan, as the article lays out, is this: Making Pence the kind of sycophant who would sell out his own friends if it helped him curry the smallest favor from the nearest authority. Glory be to Him and to His creation, the squinty-eyed milk-toad.
Amid a litany of pastors who compare him to Mordechai, Daniel, and even Jesus himself, the most telling parable from the Book of Pence (soon be the only text taught in our charter schools) comes from Pence’s college days. According to his old frat brother at Hanover College, Dan Murphy, Pence became president of their Phi Gamma Delta house in his sophomore year, at a time when their brothers were constantly trying to ape the antics of the just-released Animal House—including their sneaking booze onto the school’s dry campus. And while Pence “gamely presided over these efforts,” Murphy says, the second it became politically advantageous to screw everyone over, Pence took this as another, divinely ordained opportunity.
One night, during a rowdy party, Pence and his fraternity brothers got word that an associate dean was on his way to the house. They scrambled to hide the kegs and plastic cups, and then Pence met the administrator at the door.
“We know you’ve got a keg,” the dean told Pence, according to Murphy. Typically when scenes like this played out, one of the brothers would take the fall, claiming that all the alcohol was his and thus sparing the house from formal discipline. Instead, Pence led the dean straight to the kegs and admitted that they belonged to the fraternity. The resulting punishment was severe. “They really raked us over the coals,” Murphy said. “The whole house was locked down.” Some of Pence’s fraternity brothers were furious with him—but he managed to stay on good terms with the administration. Such good terms, in fact, that after he graduated, in 1981, the school offered him a job in the admissions office.
It seems somewhat frivolous, yet somehow, in just this one anecdote, Pence’s regular submission to whatever authority is handy, be it crusty deans or greasy dongs, in order to further his own ambitions becomes even clearer. Or, as Kellyanne Conway says, “Mike Pence is someone whose faith allows him to subvert his ego to the greater good.”
Which is a lofty, cross-stitched aphorism kind of description for what is, essentially, a willingness to play the servile stooge to Trump—to a man who, as the article also reveals, mocked Pence and his wife as “yokels”—while also planning a not-so-secret “coup” to replace him after the Access Hollywood fallout, biding his time until the Lord provides another sign (like the circling hawks that, no shit, convinced him to run for governor). Then he can gladly show America to where the kegs have knowingly been hidden all along, and use it to skate right into another cushy promotion where he can finally propagate Jesus’ love for quashing the rights of women and gay people. Great plan, God!
Anyway, The Atlantic article also has a few more colorfully beige, completely predictable details from Pence’s college years—including the fact that he was that guy who would strum an acoustic guitar on the quad—in case you’d like some more lusty laughs before they’re outlawed.